We are delighted to announce that our ambassador and RTE presenter Maura Derrane who joined the First 1000 Days movement while she was pregnant will be continuing on as our toddler ambassador now that baby Cal is nearly one.
As an ambassador for the movement, Maura hopes to inspire and educate other mothers across Ireland of the importance of good nutrition during the First 1000 Days of a child’s life, from pregnancy up to two years of age.
Maura introduced Cal, who will celebrate his first birthday later this month, for the very first time today. Maura spoke about how she wants to encourage other parents of toddlers to include the optimal amount of nutrients such as Iron and Vitamin D in their diet. Iron supports normal brain development and Vitamin D supports normal bone and tooth development.
Speaking at the event today Maura said: “I was always aware of the importance of good nutrition from an early age but since becoming an ambassador for the First 1000 Days movement back when I was pregnant with Cal I have come to truly understand the long-term health implications for him.
We will celebrate Cal’s first birthday in a couple of weeks and it has been a joy to see him develop and grow from a tiny baby to the strong, healthy and happy toddler that he is becoming. As his personality develops so too do his taste buds and it has been great fun introducing him to new foods. From the moment he was weaned we have been conscious about getting those key nutrients into him like Iron and Vitamin D – and he really does love his food, especially scrambled eggs, salmon fish pie and natural yoghurt with fresh fruit. I would definitely say that introducing him to a range of food from the outset has helped to keep him open minded about different types of food. When both parents work outside the home like we do, it’s important to plan meal times as much as possible in order to help Cal to develop a healthy relationship with food.”
Michelle Gray, Dietitian at First 1000 Days said: “The First 1000 Days is all about encouraging parents to take simple steps to ensure that optimal nutrition is received from conception right up to baby’s second birthday. Through the First 1000 Days we hope to highlight the importance of including two small servings a day of iron rich foods in a toddler’s diet, such as meat, fish, eggs and fortified foods and milk drinks. Feeding your toddler with the right foods rich in iron and other important nutrients has a powerful impact on their brain development and future potential right throughout their lives. It is also essential to include Vitamin D in the daily diet of a toddler with foods such as oily fish, eggs and fortified foods and milk drinks. Over 90% of Irish toddlers (1-3 years) are not getting enough Vitamin D in their diets1, which we know supports normal bone and tooth development.